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Jul 2009
League weighs in on results of May Day Board of Rights

The LAPPL is relieved at the outcome of the recent Board of Rights hearings, and that no officers will be unjustly fired for their actions at the May Day 2007 MacArthur Park gathering.

In the wake of the May Day events, we immediately said there should be no rush to judgment and urged the media and public to allow the Department to fully investigate what happened that day. Now, the Board of Rights hearings have proven again why this approach is vital when evaluating and reporting on police responses to controversial situations. Removed from the political and media spotlight, these boards (which always include a civilian member) can objectively review the facts and render opinions of officers’ actions based on actual Department policy and the orders given by commanding officers.

The League went on record soon after the incident pointing out the lack of continuous and updated training that partially contributed to the situation, and indeed, the Department’s 2007 May Day report *, presented to the Police Commission, acknowledged that the events that transpired were primarily a result of breakdowns in command structure, planning and communications, as well as training deficiencies. We have consistently said that training is the backbone of good police work ­– ensuring that officers know not only what to do, but can properly implement the Department’s policies, procedures and expectations in any situation.

As a result of the 2007 report, revealing the Department's disastrous cost-based decision to abandon introductory training for new Metropolitan Division officers and to not train all officers for large tactical missions, the Department reinstated training as a fundamental priority.

We would like to point out that that there were many positive actions by officers on that day, which will probably be lost in the media’s focus on the outcome of a few personnel hearings. The Department itself has acknowledged the many examples of professionalism and restraint exhibited by LAPD officers on May 1, 2007, and we wish to commend those officers for a job well done.

* Read League Press Release from September 16, 2008 regarding Department's May Day report.



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